Its Monday 15th September 2014 and a walk with George.

So here we are again but this week we are going to head straight up to the Mupamadzi as George came back from his latest mobile having had some absolutely amazing sightings. Now before we hear all about what he has been seeing, let me just remind you that this is all on foot (well all except the wild dogs which were seen on the way up to the Mobile Walking camps; just as a little “amuse bouche” before the 05 road and the 4 hour trek up to where we have the camps set up).

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Arriving in camp with Christabel and the team waiting, everyone settled in and enjoyed a gentle afternoon walk with a lovely sighting of a bull elephant as they sat behind a termite mound.

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This was all just a precursor to forthcoming attractions. On the first morning walk the silence was broken by the roaring of a lion. Hearing this, they set off heading into the back country, finding the tracks and following them until they rounded a corner and found 2 lionesses with their 3 cubs and slightly off to the side a very shy male. After having got slightly overexcited at the tracking opportunity, they headed back towards camp and on the way also found a little Sharps Greysbuck (a small antelope which we don’t see that often out here). The afternoon walk was spent mostly at the Carmine Bee-Eater colony as they have started coming in and nesting and with their familiar little chirp and incredible colours where else would you rather be.

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Day three of the trip the walk headed up to an area we call Chivungwe Plain with plenty of plains game, including 3 zebras that just walked straight towards them. Finding a lovely shady area at the salt spring, George set up a picnic lunch as they sat and waited to see what would come down to drink. Whilst it took a little time they had some fabulous sightings of kudu, baboons, impalas and even three buffalo as they came down to drink and gave a fabulous show of horning mud and generally having a good old scratch. On the walk back to camp the journey seemed to be filled with elephants including 6 of them drinking from the cool clear water of the river.

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Day four…could things really get any better? Well lets see – heading out of camp it wasn’t long before they spotted a white headed vulture in the river bed picking at some scraps. Scanning the surrounding area they then noticed that they too were being watched by a lioness with her two adult daughters from the opposite river bank. Moving on and you will never guess who – the white impala – she still lives! When was the first time we spoke about her ?? She must be some 8 or so years old, it is incredible that she has survived so long. Sticking with the antelopes, whilst sipping on a well deserved cup of tea there were 30 odd roan that wandered past them. Refreshed and ready to go again it wasn’t long before they heard impalas snorting, so heading over to investigate they walked onto a beautiful female leopard just some 15meters away, very relaxed and sitting there calmly whilst she had her photo taken.

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That evening sitting at a pan watching a pair of courting slender mongoose and flock of marabou storks recently gorged on catfish it was time to head off back to camp. Around the corner from where they had been sitting they saw a pair of leopard on a puku kill, although the female immediately made herself scarce the male was caught napping in the tree above the kill.

The last day and surely now that was enough… but apparently not. Heading back out to where the leopards had been the night before, in their place was a hyena taking a well earned sleep. Letting sleeping hyenas lie the walk headed off in a different direction, finding a huge herd of some 400plus buffalo before the wind swirled and they caught the scent of the walk and stampeded off into the distance, dust and hoofs going everywhere. Dropping down into the sandy river bank to continue the walk, it wasn’t long before the familiar tracks of lion were found. Following these they were led straight to a large male lion hiding under a thicket with a fresh kill. A quick growl at the walk made everyone aware that they were not welcome there, so backing off as silently as possible they decided that that was enough excitement for the morning walk. The last walk of the trip witnessed the male leopard from the previous day tucking into some dinner whilst the female was skulking under a bush waiting for an opportunity to get a look in.

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Now I don’t think that it is possible to beat this safari, I mean what an incredible trip! I have to say I even find myself somewhat speechless at the amount and quality of the sightings that they had. So on that somewhat stunned note I am going to bid you all a very fond farewell.

Have a happy week and until next Monday take care of yourselves.

Cheers

 

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